New York ends London's seven-year reign as world's top sports city

So, everyone knows there are lies, damned lies and statistics. That truism in this twitchy, digital era, might also read: lies, damned lies and surveys.

But the annual Burson Cohn & Wolfe survey, started in 2012, uses an interesting methodology when selecting sports’ top 50 power cities in the world.

A quarter of the weighting derives from interviews with international federations and another 25 percent from the sports media.

But a full 50 percent of their calculation derives from an analysis of the global digital landscape. Using the social media analytics tool Sysomos, the survey tracks the mentions of the word ‘sport’ when associated with a city’s name on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook but also across the blogosphere and world-wide inter-web thing.

Thus, feeding into New York City’s ranking, with her 11 franchise teams, the New York Marathon and US Open, were the Big Apple’s 2,342,620 online mentions this year [London in 2ndhad 1.39m and Los Angeles 1.32].

Some other highlights:

  • Manchester, of Manchester United & Manchester City fame, sneak further into the top 10 by finishing eighth, moving up a total of 27 spots in the last two years. And, given all the football dramas between the two cities’ football clubs, Mancunians will delight in the fact that Manchester’s rise was a literal swap with Madrid which fell to tenth place this year
  • Toronto, host city of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the recent NBA champion Toronto Raptors, jumps 11 places from last year’s ranking to take ninth position.
  • And cities that have moved up significantly on this year’s ranking include Copenhagen (+11 ranks),  San Francisco (+14 ranks), Dallas (+17 ranks), Singapore (+8 ranks), Turin (+13 ranks) and Montreal (+7 ranks)

Download the full report here.

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Charlie Charters is a former rugby union official and sports marketing executive turned thriller writer whose debut book Bolt Action was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2010.
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